A fi­nan­cial death by a thou­sand cuts

Bray People - - About Greystones - Conor CULLEN

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter Brian Leni­han’s Bud­get is de­signed in such a way that it won’t have any im­me­di­ate earth-shat­ter­ing ef­fect on your in­come, but it will slowly slice away at your bank bal­ance in lots of ways, some more ob­vi­ous than oth­ers.

The mes­sage from the Gov­ern­ment is we’re all in this to­gether, a pol­icy seem­ingly em­bod­ied by the 1 per cent levy on all in­comes up to ¤100,000, which will drag thou­sands of low-paid work­ers back into the tax net.

For peo­ple on the min­i­mum wage ev­ery cent (or per cent) mat­ters. Cer­tainly it does when you fac­tor in the many other new ways that our pock­ets will be hit in the com­ing year.

The big talk­ing point has been the de­ci­sion to do away with au­to­matic med­i­cal cards for all cit­i­zens over the age of 70, for which el­i­gi­bil­ity will now be means tested. Even the old and the sick were not spared. A&E charges are up too.

Job seek­ers ben­e­fit is up to ¤204.30 per week, but So­cial and Fam­ily Af­fairs Min­is­ter Mary Hanafin has si­mul­ta­ne­ously an­nounced a range of mea­sures to stamp out a ‘de­pen­dency cul­ture’ among young peo­ple.

Good thing we’re not de­pend­ing on the Gov­ern­ment to stim­u­late the econ­omy... and speak­ing of the fu­ture, our chil­dren will now do their learn­ing in the big­gest classes in Europe in un­der­funded schools.

As per usual, al­co­hol, cigarettes, petrol and car tax were hit. Time for some clean liv­ing. Give up the fags and the drink and take ad­van­tage of the new grant that will help you buy a bi­cy­cle to take you to work.

Of course if you’ve had enough re­ces­sion and de­pres­sion and de­cide to flee the coun­try they’ll give you a kick on the way out cour­tesy of the new air­port levy.

Min­is­ter Brian Leni­han.

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